Wednesday, April 18, 2012
The Militant Takes On SNL's 'The Californians' Skit
Saturday Night Live sketch, "The Californians," which depicts a faux soap opera about a bunch of outdated '80s-era beach-blonde surfer-talking So Cal stereotypes obsessed with driving directions involving a litany of freeways referred to by their route number, preceded by the article, "The."
Now, the Militant likes a good joke, and he knows, even though NBC is part of the great East Coast-based media hegemony which conspires to degrade us through its inaccurate media portrayal of our people, that the New York-based SNL is not just about a good laugh, but also pokes fun at their own regional quirks even more. Although every time an SNL skit comes on that involves characters talking in a thick Bwooklynesqe accent, he knows that every single joke will fly over his head and will not find anything funny about it whatsoever.
So now to "The Californians." He gets the surfer talk and the Valley talk but, dude (no pun intended), that's like three decades old already. Nobody talks like that anymore, unless they arrived in a time machine that looks like a telephone booth. And speaking of "like," they somehow kinda like glossed over that word which us Southern California locals unconsciously interject in a seemingly random manner to our colloquial speech pattern for the sake of maintaining a certain rhythmic flow to it. And what about uptalkers? Y'know, the people what make every sentence sound like a question when they talk? Everyone in So Cal knows someone who's an up talker? They weren't even considered? The other problem with the outdated surfer/Valley talk, was that it was, like, really poorly executed. They sounded like their mouths were in pain trying to recite those lines. To the point where some of what they said was unintelligible. Apparently there was a Zankou Chicken reference in there. But after watching the skit several times, he still can't find out where it was. Oh well. And as for the freeway directions, ha ha, The Militant gets it. It was funny, but not ha-ha funny. It just got old fast. And besides, the research was bad. San Vicente does not go to The 10. Beverly Glen does not reach Encino. The 105 does not have a Culver exit. Venice Blvd doesn't take you to Marina Del Rey all the way down (it takes you to, um, Venice?) Hanging a right on Alhambra doesn't take you to Sunset, and even if it does, it's a long way from Cahuenga. And what was up with the maid? Was she supposed to be Latina? If so, why does she have a Swedish accent? Was the Militant offended? No, not really. They could have pulled it off better and made it funnier, but it was just haphazardly done. The funniest part was cast member Bill Hader trying to contain his laughter. Worst of all, the best "inside" jokes were rendered unintelligible (The Militant finally found the Zankou reference after watching it for like the 4th time). They had a chance to do something really good, even at our expense, but they just like kinda blew it, y'know? And for a sketch called "The Californians," where does it leave the Nor Cal folks? Meh, The Militant hella don't care.